Today's update is going to be brief, because Sarah and I are
celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. Gotta have priorities, you
know? That said, we've got a bunch of great new announcements for you
this morning, and some new cover art too.
First up, HBO has announced the DVD release of Sex
and the City: The Sixth Season - Part 2 for 12/18 (SRP
$49.99). The 3 disc set will include the remainder of the series'
episodes along with audio commentary on 4 episodes with Michael Patrick
King, 10 deletes scenes, 3 never-before-seen alternate endings and a
75-minute video of the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival Seminar recorded in
March 2004 (featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Patrick King and
other writers from the show). Video will be the original full frame with
audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0.
HBO has also announced Oz: The Complete
Fourth Season for release on 1/11/05 (SRP $64.98). This
3-disc set will tentatively include 30 minutes of deleted scenes and
audio commentary on 2 episodes with Tom Fontana, Rita Moreno, Dean
Winters and Lee Turgeson.
On the Warner front, anybody up for Gunga
Din? Look for the George Stevens classic on 12/7 (SRP $19.97)
in its original full frame video and mono audio. Also coming on 12/7
(with the same specs and price) are Stevens' I
Remember Mama, his D-Day to Berlin
documentary and the new George Stevens: A
Filmmaker's Journey documentary.
Warner has also announced the TCM Archives:
The Buster Keaton Collection for 12/7 (SRP $39.92). The
2-disc set will include 3 classic films from Keaton's MGM period - The
Cameraman (1928 - remastered with a new score by Arthur
Barnow), Spite Marriage (1929) and
Free and Easy (1930 - Keaton's
first "talkie"). The set also includes Kevin Brownlow's new
So Funny It Hurts: Buster Keaton at MGM
One last Warner note - be aware that the release date for The
Iron Giant: Special Edition has been pushed back to 11/16.
In other news today, Criterion has announced the DVD release of Robert
Altman's Short Cuts and the 5-disc
Fanny and Alexander Box Set (which
will include both the theatrical and television versions of Ingmar
Bergman's Fanny and Alexander,
along with The Making of Fanny and Alexander
documentary). The titles will all street on 11/16.
Also, Paramount has announced the December release of Distant
Thunder, A Show of Force
(both 12/7) and Lords of Discipline
(12/21). No details yet on extras.
Speaking of Paramount... remember how we told you on Monday that the
studio had decided not to delay the 9/7 release of its Star
Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition (to correct
the inaccurate spec listing on the back of the packaging)? That
information came right from the studio. And guess what? I got another
e-mail from them last night saying that they might delay the title after
all. Rest assured we'll post whatever we learn as soon as we learn it.
Let this be taken as proof positive that even official information
changes from time to time.
How's about some of that cover art we promised you? Here's Criterion's
Short Cuts, Fox's The
Clearing (11/9), Universal's Riverworld
(11/16), HBO's Sex and the City: The Sixth
Season - Part 2 and Oz: The
Complete Fourth Season, and Warner's Gunga
One last note today... our friends at Fantoma Films are going to be
holding a special DVD signing event in L.A. for their new special
edition of The Forbidden Zone.
Director Richard Elfman will be on hand to sign your discs tomorrow
(Thursday, 9/2 at 7 PM) at Amoeba Music in Hollywood (6400 W. Sunset
Blvd). It should be a lot of fun, so see you all in the Sixth Dimension!
Have a swell day!
Well... I've talked with Doogan and the good news is he's doing just
fine. Todd came out of his surgery like a champ and is already recouping
at home. He's a bit loopy, but he's in good spirits. And you know, he's
always been a bit loopy. I'm sure he'll tell you all about his little
brush with 21st Century medicine in his next column as soon as he's
feeling up to it. In the meantime, thanks to all those of you who have
sent him kind words. He's definitely been reading your e-mails and he
really appreciates them.
I promised you some reviews yesterday, so here's a few for you to chew
on. Our own Rob Hale has checked in with a look at Miramax's recent
Collector's Series 2-disc set. And we're very pleased today to
welcome a new reviewer to The Bits
family... Aric Mitchell. Aric kicks off his tenure here with a look at a
pair of horror titles - Anchor Bay's
Hell Night (a lost 80s almost classic from the early 90s) and
(a new Japanese classic from the one and only Takashi Miike). Enjoy!
One interesting bit of DVD news this morning - First Run Features is
going to be releasing The Up Series
on disc on 10/19 (SRP $99.95). This 5-disc collector's edition will
include all of director Michael Apted's acclaimed Up
documentaries, including Seven Up,
7 Plus Seven, 21
Up, 28 Up, 35
Up and 42 Up. In case
you're not familiar with this series, it has literally followed the
diverse lives of a group of English children starting from the time they
were all seven years old until recently when they're well into middle
age. It's really a fascinating piece of work. The set includes Apted's
audio commentary for 42 Up, a
biography on the director and a photo gallery for each film. I'm
definitely looking forward to this one.
Here's the cover art for The Up Series,
along with Paramount's Foul Play
and Ragtime (both 11/16)...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/30/04 - 3 PM PDT)
20th Century Fox has announced the DVD release of 24:
The Complete Third Season for 12/7 (SRP $69.98). The 6-disc
set will include all 24 episodes in anamorphic widescreen video with
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, along with deleted scenes (viewable by seamless
branching), audio commentary on 6 episodes by all the major actors,
directors and the show's creators (one commentary per disc), a preview
of Season Four, 3 featurettes
(including 24: On the Loose, Boys
and Their Toys and Biothreat:
Beyond the Series), a multi-angle scene study, and the Inside
Look: Mr. and Mrs. Smith sneak peek featurette. Here's the
Also, Universal has announced the The Bourne
Supremacy for 12/7 (SRP $29.98). The film will be available
in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions, each with
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. This is a single-disc edition, and there
doesn't look to be any major special edition features, so you can bet a
more elaborate version is on the way for 2005.
Other titles just announced by Universal include Ali
G Indahouse: The Movie (11/2) and The
Courage to Love (11/30).
There's been a rumor flying around the Internet today that Paramount's
Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition was going to
be delayed from its 9/7 street date. This is NOT true. I've just
confirmed with Paramount that the title WILL street on 9/7 as expected.
There had been some talk about delaying the release so that the spec
listing on the packaging could be corrected (the back of the package
mistakenly lists the theatrical trailer and preview trailers as extras -
we're hearing from sources that they were left off for clearance
issues). The studio has decided to release the packaging as is rather
than delay the title. So let this end the confusion - there IS no delay.
Finally, we've kicked off FOUR MORE new
today, giving each of you the chance to win DVD copies of Fantoma's
Season One &
Season One, Disney's
King 2: Special Edition, HBO's
Never Scared and
All-American. The contests will run until Noon PDT on Sunday
September 5th. Good luck!
Just FYI, I'm going to wait until tonight to post those DVD reviews.
I'm knee-deep in chasing down some announcement rumors and so forth.
Never a dull moment... and not enough hours in the day. ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/30/04 -
1:30 PM PDT)
Well, here we are... a brand new week. Even as I write this, Doogan is
probably lying in some hospital room down in Dixie, pumped full of
painkillers and wearing a paper gown with no back.
Yeah, sorry for that disturbing visual image. ;-)
Anyway, Todd'll back later this week and in the meantime, we've got
some big news today. Disney has officially confirmed that little bit of
Bambi news we posted last week in
Rumor Mill. Their 2-disc Bambi:
Special Edition will street on 3/1/05 (SRP $29.99). The set
will feature a frame-by-frame digital restoration of the animated
classic (a la Snow White), along
with the Walt's Annotated Bambi
and The Bambi Legacy
documentaries, cut scenes and sequences from the film you've never seen
before, a Disney Time Capsule, the
Disneypedia, interactive games and
For you scalawags out there, Disney will release Pirates
of the Caribbean: The Lost Disc on 11/2 (SRP $29.99). This is
a 3-disc set that includes the original 2-disc version of the film along
with a 3rd bonus disc of all new booty. Unfortunately, methinks there's
no way to get the bonus disc WITHOUT buying the original DVD over again.
We'll look into it, mateys.
Keeping it in the Disney family, Touchstone will release Antoine
Fuqua's King Arthur in 2 different
DVD versions on 12/21 - the PG-13 theatrical edition and an unrated
director's extended edition. Both versions will include deleted scenes
and an alternate ending with optional director's commentary, the Blood
on the Land: Forging King Arthur documentary, a "roundtable"
audio commentary with the cast and filmmakers, a Knight
Vision pop-up trivia track, a playable Xbox videogame demo
and a gallery of producer Jerry Bruckheimer's personal on-set photos. I
believe there will also be separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen
editions of each version, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
On 11/9, Miramax will deliver a Bridget
Jones's Diary: Collector's Edition (SRP $19.99 - timed to
coincide with the theatrical release of the sequel, Bridget
Jones: The Edge of Reason). Extras will include audio
commentary with director Sharon Maguire, deleted scenes, a number of
behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailers and TV spots, Bridget Jones's
columns, reviews of the film and more.
Columbia TriStar will release Falling from
Grace on 11/9. No word yet on extras.
And here's a title that has Matt and I excited... New Line will release
the ultimate rolling concert film on disc, the Festival
Express: Special Edition, on 11/2 (SRP $24.98). The 2-disc
set will contain the documentary film in anamorphic widescreen video,
with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. Extras will include more than 50
minutes of additional concert footage and interviews not seen in
theaters. Vintage 1970 Janis Joplin, The Band and the Grateful Dead, all
liquored up on a train and belting out the tunes in DTS surround sound?
Now THAT'S a freaking cool concert DVD!
Here's cover art for Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Lost Disc, Festival
Express: Special Edition and Warner's Smallville:
The Complete Third Season (due on 11/16). Art for the other
titles announced today isn't available yet, but we'll post it as soon as
Now then... we've got some reviews coming this afternoon, but first I
wanted to take a moment to acknowledge
passing of Emiel Petrone, one of the very early advocates of the
DVD format, who apparently died last week at 61. He was the executive VP
of Philips Electronics Corporate Alliance Group, and one of the founders
of the original DVD Video Group (now the Digital Entertainment Group). I
actually met Emiel on a number of occasions back in the early days of
DVD, when being the editor of one of the very first DVD websites meant
attending conference after conference where the DVD and Divx forces
would square off in spirited panel debates about the merits of each
format. Here's a photo I took back in 1998 at just such an event at
VSDA. That's Petrone on the right, with then VSDA president Jeffrey Eves
(middle) and the godfather of DVD, Warren Lieberfarb (left)...
Anyway, I can't say I knew the guy personally, but I can tell you that
he did a HELLUVA lot to help make the DVD format what it is today, so we
all owe him a debt of gratitude. Hats off to him from all of us here at
The Digital Bits.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
Top o' the morning to ya, folks! Yes, at long last we've reached the
end of another work week. Feels kinda nice, doesn't it? I don't know
about you, but I definitely need a couple of days to chill out. Been
pretty busy around here of late.
Our first bit of news today is one you TV on DVD fans are going to
appreciate. All this week, Best Buy stores have been giving away a free
NBC Fall Preview DVD that just so
happens to include a bonus trailer advertising a number of classic
Universal TV shows coming to DVD in 2004. Among the titles listed as on
the way for later this year are such gems as The
Bionic Woman, Kojak,
Miami Vice and Murder,
She Wrote. We'll post all the details as soon as they come in
from the studio. Start looking for that second job, folks!
Now then, this next bit has absolutely nothing to do with DVD... except
perhaps that I personally can't wait for the title to arrive on disc
next year. You know, when Sci-Fi cancelled Farscape,
I stopped watching the frelling cable network in protest. But I think
I'm gonna have to lift my embargo for this. The series is briefly
returning to Sci-Fi (on 10/17) as a mini-series event... and the trailer
The Peacekeeper Wars is now online in glorious Quicktime
video. Do check it out, Scapers.
Okay... I've been promising reviews all week. While I've delivered a
couple of new Trek DVD reviews my
own damn self (bad grammar intended), posting the rest keeps getting put
off for whatever reason. Thankfully, my partner in crime, Todd Doogan,
has come to the rescue. He's just turned in his
Doogan's Views column, in which he reviews 11 new DVDs
that arrived in stores this week. Among the titles covered are Miramax's
Enchanted and Shaolin
Soccer, Fox's The
Girl Next Door: Unrated Edition, New Line's Highwaymen
of Attraction, Criterion's I
Vitelloni, Warner's Purple
Rain: 20th Anniversary Special Edition, Under
the Cherry Moon and Graffiti
Bridge, and Universal's The
Munsters: The Complete First Season and Night
Gallery: The Complete First Season. As usual, Todd also runs
down the other major releases of the week, so you definitely don't want
to miss it.
While we're on the topic of Todd, I wanted to take a moment to say a
quick couple of words on his behalf. I've been getting a lot of e-mails
from readers lately asking what's up with Todd's column, where's Todd
anyway, and what the hell is Todd smokin' because he sure ain't keeping
up with his damn column? Well gang... it's like this. Sometimes when
you've got plans to do one thing, life has a way of kicking you right
square in the nads. Not long after we got back from Comic-Con, our old
buddy Todd learned he's gonna have to have some pretty wicked surgery.
Homeboy goes under the knife on Monday, so do me favor -
drop the Doogan an
e-mail and send a little love his way. Todd's just one of those
guys, you know? A real redwood among sprouts. The
Bits wouldn't be here without him, so do let him know how you
feel. Like Bartles and Jaymes used say, "Thank you for your
Oh, I almost forgot. Over at our MusicTAP
site this morning, George Bennett's delivered a new SACD review for you
to check out -
Hall: Concierto from Mobile Fidelity. Matt Rowe and his crew
over there are doing a bang-up job covering all the latest DVD-Audio,
SACD, music DVD and general CD release news, so be sure to check out
their work if you haven't done so already.
Alright... we're all squared up for this week. We've got more DVD
reviews lined up for Monday, so be sure to check back then. In the
meantime, as always, y'all go have yourselves a dandy weekend!
Time sure is flying, isn't it? Hard to believe it's already almost
September. Anyway, we've got three new pieces of cover art for you to
check out this morning. Here's a look at Warner's Batman:
The Animated Series - Volume Two (12/7) which was announced
yesterday, along with Columbia TriStar's Dr.
Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Edition and Philadelphia:
Anniversary Edition (both due 11/2)...
Also this morning, this would normally go in The
Rumor Mill because it's completely unofficial... but it's
Midnight and I'm tired, so here you go. Retail sources are telling us to
expect New Line's 4-disc The Lord of the
Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition
on 12/7. We'll post all the official details as soon as they're
Back later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/25/04 - 2:30 PM PDT)
Boy... it's a BIG day for animated DVD announcements. Warner Bros. has
just unveiled FIVE great animated releases that are all due to street on
12/7, starting with the 4-disc, 28-episode Batman:
The Animated Series - Volume Two (SRP $44.98). Extras will
include the Robin Rising, Gotham's
Guardians and Voices of the Knight
featurettes, and audio commentary on 4 episodes.
Next up is the 2-disc, 18-episode Superman:
The Animated Series - Volume One (SRP $26.98). Extras will
include the Superman: Learning to Fly
and Building the Mythology: Superman's
Supporting Cast featurettes, audio commentary on 4 episodes,
and pop-up trivia.
Anyone up for a 4-disc, 30-episode Top Cat:
The Complete Series (SRP $44.98)? Look for the Back
to Hoagy's Alley: The Making of Top Cat retrospective
featurette, original storyboards, a sing-a-long, Top Cat's Kelloggs
commercials, audio commentary on 3 episodes and more.
How about the 4-disc, 32-episode The
Flintstones: The Complete Second Season (SRP $44.98)? Extras
will include the Carved in Stone: The
Flintstones Phenomenon retrospective documentary, the Songs
of the Flintstones music video, original pencil drawings, TV
spots, audio commentary on 3 episodes and more.
Finally, The Man Called Flintstone
feature film (SRP $19.97) will arrive on 12/7 as well in its original
full frame aspect ratio.
Here's some cover art. I'll post the rest as it becomes available...
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/25/04
- 1:30 PM PDT)
We've got a short (but mostly sweet) post for you fans of Star
Trek and Star Wars
First up, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox have officially announced that
they'll be releasing a trio of much anticipated "double feature"
DVDs on 11/23. Star Wars: Animated Adventures
- Droids will include select episodes of the original 1985
Droids animated series edited into
two feature-length films - The Pirates and
the Prince and Treasures of the
Hidden Planet (both 86 minutes). Star
Wars: Animated Adventures - Ewoks will also include select
episodes of the original 1985-87 Ewoks
animated series edited into two feature films - The
Haunted Village (88 minutes) and Tales
from the Endor Woods (89 minutes). Also on 11/23, you'll get
Star Wars: Ewok Adventures, which
includes both live-action films from the 1980s - The
Caravan of Courage and The Battle
for Endor (both 95 minutes). All three of these DVDs will
carry an SRP of $14.98. Unfortunately, I suspect MOST of you were hoping
for the Droids and Ewoks
animated series to be released complete with all the original episodes,
but such is not to be (at least not this go-round). Here's a look at the
cover art for all three titles...
For you Trekkies today, I'm
pleased to bring you my in-depth review of Paramount's 2-disc
Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition, which streets
on 9/7. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this DVD release... with the
exception of one important issue. Check out the review for all the
(LATE UPDATE - 8/24/04 - 4 PM PDT)
Well... we got stuck trouble-shooting an e-mail problem and it's
naturally taken most of the afternoon to get it resolved. Given that,
we're going to save those reviews we mentioned earlier for tomorrow and
post them all in the morning.
In the meantime, we HAVE kicked off four more new
today, giving each of you a chance to win copies of the complete first
seasons of Universal's
Enchanted, the BBC's
Heaven and Warner's
Ten Yards. The contests will run until Noon PDT on Sunday
August 29th. Good luck!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/24/04 -
11:45 AM PDT)
We've got some more big announcements for you today. First of all,
Columbia TriStar has officially revealed that Dr.
Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Edition we told you about last
week. Look for the 2-disc set (due 11/2) to include the film in its
original variable full frame aspect ratio(s), with audio in English
Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1. Extras will include The
Art of Stanley Kubrick from Short Films to Strangelove
documentary, the Inside the Making of Dr.
Strangelove featurette, original split-screen interviews with
Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, an original advertising gallery, cast
bios and production notes. Other than Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio
and the set being released on 2 discs, we're trying to determine how
this differs from the previous SE release. There doesn't seem to be much
Also set to arrive on 11/2 from the studio is a Philadelphia:
Anniversary Edition, which will include the film in
anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.0 audio. Extras will
include audio commentary with the filmmakers, deleted scenes, an
original production featurette, courthouse protest footage and
interviews, Bruce Springsteen's Streets of
Philadelphia music video, and the theatrical trailer.
Additional titles to expect on 11/2 from Columbia TriStar include Facing
Windows, Renegade, California
Split, Cirque du Soleil: Fire
Within (3 discs), a Cirque du
Soleil: Fire Within/Varekai 2-pack, Cirque
du Soleil: La Nouba (2 discs) and The
More the Merrier.
Universal has announced the DVD release of a trio of Sci-Fi Channel "originals".
No, not Ron Moore's reinvisioned Battlestar
Galactica (although we expect that to be announced soon, to
street just in time for the premiere of the new series based on the
same). On 11/16, look for Riverworld,
Control Factor and Clive
Barker Presents Saint Sinner (SRP $27.98 each). All three
will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video.
Collection has announced the current production of two separate
versions of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and
Alexander - a 2-disc theatrical edition (SRP $29.95) and a
5-disc director's cut special edition ($59.95). Both are due on DVD in
We have word in
Rumor Mill today from VERY reliable sources about another
classic Disney animated title you can expect on DVD next year. Be sure
to check it out.
Also, George Bennett of our MusicTAP
crew has turned in yet another SACD review -
Sweat & Tears: 3, from Mobile Fidelity. Don't miss it.
Finally, we have some new cover art for you this morning as well.
Here's a look at Warner's Troy
(1/4/05), the BBC's The Office Special
(11/16), Columbia TriStar's final art for Super
Size Me (9/28) and the SuperBit and Collector's Gift Set
editions of Spider-Man 2 (11/30)
and Image Entertainment's Pee-Wee's Playhouse
Christmas Special (10/19)...
Back later with some reviews. Stay tuned...
Here's some big news... Warner has just announced the DVD release of
Wolfgang Peterson's Troy for
1/4/05 (SRP $29.95). The 2-disc set will include 3 featurettes (In
the Thick of Battle, From Ruins to
Reality and Troy: An Effects
Odyssey), a CG Gallery of the Gods
photo gallery/tour of Mount Olympus, the theatrical trailer and Easter
eggs. Video will be anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 2.40:1), with
audio on English and French Dolby Digital 5.1. We'll post artwork when
it becomes available.
As promised, we're back this afternoon with Barrie's
Classic Coming Attractions column here at The
Bits. In this edition, Barrie reviews Milestone's
McCay: The Master Edition, Kino's
Day of the Locust and
Reagan: His Life and Legacy, Shanachie's
Golden Gong: The Story of Rank Films - British Cinema's Legendary
Studio and Playboy and Image Entertainment's
in Texas: Collector's Edition. Enjoy!
In other news today, AN-Entertainment (i.e. Anime Nation Entertainment)
will release the animated Miami Guns, Volume
3 on 9/14, with Miami Guns: Volume
4 following on 10/26. Each disc will carry an SRP of $29.95
and will contain 3 episodes, with translation notes, trailers, an image
gallery and character guides.
Here's a look at the cover art for the two Miami
Guns titles, as well as MGM's Lost
MGM has set Lost Junction for
release on 11/9, with The Saddest Music in
the World following on 11/16.
Interested in more MGM information? Check out
Rumor Mill today for word on several upcoming releases on the
way for later this year and early 2005. This includes De-Lovely,
a Martin Scorsese Film Collection
and a Hoosiers: Collector's Edition.
Don't miss it.
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/23/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)
We've got some cool new announcements for you in today's early post.
First up, Miramax has revealed that it will release a double feature DVD
of Beat Takeshi's Zatoichi: The Blind
Swordsman and Sonatine
on 11/9 (SRP $29.99). Both films will be presented in anamorphic
widescreen video (1.85:1 aspect ratio), with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in
both the original Japanese and dubbed English (plus English and Spanish
subtitles). In terms of extras, Zatoichi
will feature a behind-the-scenes featurette and interviews with the
cinematographer, the production designer, the costume designer and the "master
swordsman". Sonatine will
feature an introduction by Quentin Tarantino and an interview with Beat
In other news today, Buena Vista has announced the DVD release of The
Golden Girls: Season One, Home
Improvement: Season One and Boy
Meets World: Season Two, all for 11/23 (SRP $49.99 each).
The Golden Girls will include 25
episodes on 3 discs, including the pilot and a "fashion"
commentary by Joan and Melissa Rivers. *blurp*
(You'll have to excuse me. I just threw up in my
mouth a little bit. Okay... better now.)
Home Improvement will include 24
episodes on 3 discs, along with a gag reel and audio commentary by the
show's creators. And Boy Meets World
will include 23 episodes on 3 discs, plus audio commentary by the cast
and crew, and a picture-in-picture video commentary with them as well.
Screen format for each set is the original 4x3, with audio in Dolby
Moving on, 20th Century Fox will release The
Clearing, staring Robert Redford, on 11/9 (SRP $27.98). We
believe the disc will offer both anamorphic widescreen and full frame
versions of the film, along with English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (French
and Spanish audio will also be available in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround).
Extras will include audio commentary by director Peter Jan Brugge,
writer Justin Haythe and editor Kevin Tent (on the widescreen version
only), 6 deleted scenes with optional director's commentary, the film's
screenplay (readable on your TV), an Inside
Look featurette and the theatrical trailer.
Also this morning, we have details on the extras you can expect on
Paramount's forthcoming 2-disc special collector's editions of The
and Deep Impact. The
Untouchables (10/5 - SRP $14.99) will include 4 new
featurettes (The Script, The Cast,
Production Stories, Reinventing
the Genre and The Classic),
1 vintage featurette (The Men),
and the film's theatrical trailer. Video will be anamorphic widescreen
with audio in English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and French Dolby Digital 2.0
Surround. Footloose (9/28 - SRP
$19.99) will include audio commentary by Kevin Bacon, a separate
commentary by producer Craig Zadan and writer Dean Pitchford, 3
featurettes (Footloose: A Modern Musical,
Part I, Footloose: A Modern
Musical, Part II and Footloose:
Songs that Tell a Story) and the theatrical trailer. Video
will be anamorphic widescreen with audio in English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
and 2.0 Surround, and French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Finally, Deep
Impact (10/5 - SRP $14.99) will include audio commentary with
director Mimi Leder and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar, 4
featurettes (Preparing for the End,
Making an Impact, Creating
the Perfect Traffic Jam and Parting
Thoughts), a photo gallery, theatrical trailers and a teaser
trailer. Video will be anamorphic widescreen with audio in English and
French Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Whew!
In case you missed it last week, The
Ultimate Matrix Collection, Spider-Man
2, the Top Gun: Special
Collector's Edition and Before
Sunset were all announced on Friday. Be sure to check
Friday's multiple posts for all the details.
We'll be back later with a new Classic
Coming Attractions column from Barrie. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/20/04 -
6 PM PDT)
Damn, we just can't see to get out of the office today! Warner Bros.
has just officially announced their long-awaited, 10-disc The
Ultimate Matrix Collection for release on 12/7 (SRP $79.92).
The same day, they'll also release The
Ultimate Matrix Collection: Limited Edition which includes a
Neo mini-bust and a collector's book (SRP $129.92). Here's text from
"The definitive ten-disc DVD set, The
Ultimate Matrix Collection features all three films in the trilogy
together for the first time ever with a newly remastered picture and
sound for The Matrix. Also included is the companion piece The
Matrix Revisited and the best-selling The Animatrix, plus
five entirely new DVDs packed solid with brand-new supplemental
materials that encompass every aspect of the Matrix universe, including
two new audio commentaries on each film, 23 scenes shot for the Enter
the Matrix video game, 106 deep-delving featurettes/documentaries
and much more! The Ultimate Matrix Collection Limited Edition
also includes a limited-edition Neo mini-bust figurine and a 80-page
In addition to what's listed above, The
Ultimate Matrix Collection will feature 2 audio commentary
tracks for each film (one with philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken
Wilber, and the other with critics of the film - Todd McCarthy, John
Powers and David Thomson), an introduction to the set by the Wachowski
Brothers, Easter eggs and much, much, MUCH more.
Here's more good Warner news - the studio has also announced a new
favorite of mine, Before Sunset,
for release on 11/9 (SRP $27.95). A 2-pack of Before
Sunset and the original Before
Sunrise will be available the same day (SRP $35.98).
Here's the cover art for The Ultimate Matrix
Collection, Before Sunset
and HBO's Carnivale: The Complete First
Season (12/7). For a better look at The
Ultimate Matrix Collection: Limited Edition artwork (and more
on the extra features), visit
in The Rumor Mill.
Been a busy day around here! See you Monday!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/20/04 -
2:30 PM PDT)
Here's one I know you've been waiting for. Paramount has just revealed
to us that they'll be releasing the Top Gun:
Special Collector's Edition on 11/16 (SRP $19.99). There will
be separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions of the
release, each a 2-disc set. The widescreen version will be presented at
an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Both versions will feature audio in English
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES, along with French Dolby Digital 2.0
Surround. Extras will include audio commentary (by producer Jerry
Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, screenwriter Jack Epps and Top Gun
vets Captain Mike Galpin, retired Admiral Pete Pettigrew and Vice
Admiral Mike McCabe), 6 documentaries on the making of the film and its
cultural impact (from pre-production through its theatrical release), 4
music videos (Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone,
Berlin's Take My Breath Away,
Loverboy's Heaven in Your Eyes and
Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens' Top Gun
Anthem), a vintage Tom Cruise interview, a vintage
behind-the-scenes featurette, a vintage Survival
Training featurette, multi-angle storyboards with optional
commentary by director Tony Scott, and 7 original TV spots. Nice. No
cover art is approved yet, but we'll bring it to you when it's ready to
Also, just FYI, we've updated our
2 post from earlier with full specs and cover art.
Okay... NOW we're done. Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/20/04 - 1:30 PM PDT)
Okay, I'm back. I've had time to catch a few winks and think more about
that THX 1138 screening last
night. I'll tell you, I've always really liked this film. I would go so
far as to say that I think it's director George Lucas' most interesting
work. THX is something of a
cautionary on society, but it also addresses the personal loss of
identity and control of the individual in a modern, technological
civilization. What is a single human being worth in the industrial,
consumer world? Are we just cogs in an economic machine? Expendable
employees if overhead gets too high? Consumers meant to define our lives
and our personal happiness by the products we buy? These are interesting
questions that are far more relevant now than they were back in 1971
when Lucas first asked them. Anyone who works for a large corporation
knows the same pressures Robert Duvall's THX feels in this film: "Work
hard. Increase production. Prevent accidents." Anyone who lives in
the Western world is bombarded daily with a similar consumer message: "Buy
more. Buy more now. Buy more and be happy." Are we not, almost
every hour of every day, pummeled with advertisements telling us how to
keep our hair from falling out longer, have harder dicks and softer,
younger looking skin? It's almost scary how much TV ads these days sound
like moments from THX 1138: "Ask
your doctor about purple pill. If you have certain medical conditions,
purple pill may be the answer..."
As many of you know, Lucas has restored and extended THX
1138 in a new director's cut, in the same way that his Star
Wars films have been enhanced with new CGI footage. The
interesting thing here is, the new footage I think actually serves THX
1138 better than it does the Star
Wars films. Instead of just adding an eye-candy menagerie of
strange creatures and alien vistas, the footage here mostly expands the
sense of scale. For example, we now see the vastness of the factory
floor at the beginning of THX,
many more levels of hallways packed with ever more workers, and more
vehicles moving around the underground complex. The film certainly works
without this new footage, but I don't think it's really hurt by it
either. THX 1138 still retains its
full share of foreboding and claustrophobia. To be fair, it's been a
long time since Matt, Adam and I have seen the original film, so it's
hard to make a truly critical comparison.
I still feel the same way about the original cut of THX
as I do about the original cuts of the Star
Wars films - Lucas has a responsibility to preserve them for
recently made a rather ironic comment about Columbia TriStar
having colorized episodes of The Three
Stooges on DVD: "I am very
concerned about our national heritage, and I am very concerned that the
films that I watched when I was young and the films that I watched
throughout my life are preserved, so that my children can see them."
Hello pot? This is kettle. You're black. I'm glad Lucas appreciates the
need to preserve our film heritage, because this is the very same thing
I've been saying for years about the need to preserve the original
versions of the Star Wars films...
and now THX 1138. I have no
problem with his new "ultimate versions" - he has a right to
change them until he's happy. But at the same time, let's not throw the
originals away forever and claim that they don't exist anymore.
That issue aside, Matt, Adam and I all enjoyed this new version of THX
1138, and found it a genuinely satisfying and
thought-provoking experience. I was glad to have the chance to see it on
the big screen, and I'm very much looking forward to the 2-disc DVD
release on 9/14. In fact, I'm probably looking forward to that more than
the Star Wars Trilogy DVDs. THX
is old school Lucas, the way Close Encounters
is old school Spielberg. I really hope, when he's done with Episode
III and all, that Lucas goes back to his creative roots. I
hope he's got a few more films like THX
left in him. 'Cause if he does... you can bet I'll stand in line to see
Have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday!
(EARLY UPDATE -
8/20/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! We've got a big announcement for you Spidey fans this
morning. Columbia TriStar will officially release its Spider-Man
2 on DVD on 11/30 (SRP $26.98). The 2-disc set will include
more than 10 hours of bonus material... lovingly crafted by our good
friend, DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika (Alien
Quadrilogy, Black Hawk Down: SE).
The film will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic
widescreen (aspect ratio 2.40:1) versions, both of which will feature
audio in English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0. Both versions
will also include 2 audio commentary tracks on Disc One - one with
director Sam Raimi, producer Avi Arad, co-producer Grant Curtis and star
Tobey Maguire, and another with FX supervisor John Dykstra and his
effects team. Disc One will also include a Spidey
Sense subtitle trivia track, 4 web-i-sodes, Train's Ordinary
music video, a blooper reel and original trailers and TV spots. Disc Two
will deliver the 12-part Making the Amazing
documentary, 3 featurettes (including Hero in
Crisis, Eight Arms to Hold You
and The Women of Spider-Man), the
Enter the Web multi-angle "Pier
Sequence" deconstruction, a gallery of Alex Ross paintings, a look
at the Spider-Man 2 videogame, web
links and an Easter egg. Here's the cover art...
For you maximum video bitrate and DTS fans, Spider-Man
2 will also be released in a movie-only SuperBit edition that
same day. A 2-pack of Spider-Man 2
and the original Spider-Man will
be available as well. Finally, there's going to be a limited edition
gift set (priced at about $50), which will contain the 2-disc DVD along
with a miniature version of Marvel's The
Amazing Spider-Man #50 comic, a set of 5 collector's cards
and a 25-page portfolio of artwork from numerous comic book artists.
Now then... you Trek fans are
going to like what I have for you this morning. As you might have
guessed, I've just uploaded my in-depth review of Paramount's
Trek: The Original Series - Season One, which streets on 8/31.
Don't miss it.
Also this morning, our MusicTAP
crew has just posted a review of The Searchers'
Collection, now available on high-resolution SACD format from
By the way, Matt, Adam and I just got back from a digital screening of
George Lucas' new THX 1138: The Director's
Cut up at the Arclight in Los Angeles. In a word, the new cut
is... fascinating. But I'll tell you more about that after I've had a
few hours of sleep!
Back later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/19/04 -
4:30 PM PDT)
We just wanted to let you all know that Amazon U.K. is currently
reporting Region 2 street dates of 11/26 for Spider-Man
2, 10/25 for Troy and
12/10 for The Lord of the Rings: The Return
of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition. Watch for the
U.S./Region 1 dates to be announced fairly soon, and for roughly the
same time frames (we've heard 12/14 for Return
of the King, and the other dates will obviously all be
Tuesdays here in the States). Thanks to Bits
reader José Luis Alva P. for the heads-up.
In other news, Warner has just announced the DVD release of A
Home at the End of the World for 11/2 (SRP $27.95).
World has another article on how the Blu-ray Disc/HD-DVD
format war is heating up, in this case with regard to how expensive (or
not) the two formats' disc media is going to be to replicate.
Back tomorrow with that Star Trek
review. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/19/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We'll be back with more later today, but I wanted to jump in early with
a few quick things.
First of all, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge
passing of legendary composer Elmer Bernstein, whose work includes
the score for such films as The Great Escape,
To Kill a Mockingbird and The
Magnificent Seven. He will most certainly be missed.
Next, 20th Century Fox has just announced some interesting titles for
November. Look for The Clearing on
11/9, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete
Seventh Season and National
Lampoon's Holiday Reunion on 11/16, and a Daredevil:
Director's Cut, Tru Calling: The
Complete First Season and Lost in
Space: Season Two, Volume Two on 11/30. Daredevil
will include the 124-minute version of the film in anamorphic
widescreen, audio commentary with Mark Steven Johnson and Ari Arad, the
Making of Director's Cut
featurette and both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. Lost
in Space will include original 1966 cast interviews.
Universal has pushed the street date for The
Last Ride to 11/16, while Quantum
Leap: The Complete Second Season will now street on 12/14.
Also this morning, we've just posted Adam Jahnke's in-depth review of
Lars Von Trier's
which is due from Lions Gate on 8/24. Both the film and Adam's thoughts
on it are well worth a look.
Speaking of reviews, we have more coming soon, including my thoughts on
Paramount's Star Trek: The Original Series -
Season One. I've only just cracked the set open, but I'll
tell you... it looks damn good so far.
Awww, hell... let's throw in some early AM cover art too. Here's Fox's
Lost in Space: Season Two, Volume Two
and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete
Seventh Season, Columbia TriStar's China
Syndrome: Special Edition and White
Chicks: Unrated & Uncut (both 10/26), and the final cover
art for both versions of Universal's The
Chronicles of Riddick (11/16)...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/18/04 - 2 PM PDT)
Wanna see something funny? This isn't DVD related (at least not yet)
but it sure made me laugh. It's a sneak peek at the movie I'm most
looking forward to right now. And no, it's not Revenge
of the Sith or Batman Begins.
here to feast your eyes on the trailer for Wes Anderson's
forthcoming The Life Aquatic with Steven
Zissou, featuring Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.
December 1st can't come fast enough. ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/18/04
- 1 PM PDT)
We've got a few new Paramount titles to report today. The studio has
just confirmed that Last Train from Gun Hill,
The Naked Jungle, Ace
High and Arrowhead will
all street on 11/9 (SRP $14.99 each). Bopha!,
Foul Play and Ragtime
will follow on 11/16 (also $14.99 each).
Also, Paramount has pushed back the street date for its Stepford
Wives remake on DVD. The title had been announced for 10/26,
but look for it now on 11/9.
Warner Bros. is set to release John Wayne:
The Signature Collection on 10/12 (SRP $32.98). The set will
include 4 of the legend's greatest westerns - Stagecoach,
The Searchers, Rio
Bravo and The Cowboys.
Two other Warner announcements today - the studio will release Smallville:
The Complete Third Season on 11/16 (SRP $59.98). Look for a
6-disc set with all the episodes in anamorphic widescreen, plus extras
Warner will also release Gilmore Girls: The
Complete Second Season on 12/7 (SRP $59.98). The 6-disc set
will include 22 episodes in all, plus extras TBA.
We've finally got reliable word a street date for New Line's Return
of the King: Extended Edition. That's in
Rumor Mill today, along with word on when we can expect
Warner's Heat: Special Edition.
Finally, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include all the latest numbers for
the U.S. through the first week of August. Our
chart (and the
listing above) have been updated accordingly.
We're working on a number of reviews for tomorrow, so stay tuned...
Morning, folks. We've got some new New Line announcements for you
today. No Return of the King: Extended
Edition yet, but that's coming in December. These titles are
set for release on 11/2 (SRP $19.97 each)... Even
Cowgirls Get the Blues, Proof
(with director and Hugo Weaving audio commentaries and a Martin's
Photo Album slideshow), and The
Rapture (with audio commentary with director Michael Tolkin).
Also today, VCI Entertainment is releasing a series of what they're
calling ACME DVD Classics titles. These are double feature discs and
include ultra-deep catalog films. The first batch of them streets on
10/12 (SRP $4.99 each - no kidding), and features the East Side Kids (Ghosts
on the Loose/Spooks Run Wild), Gary Cooper (A
Farewell to Arms/Meet John Doe), Hedy Lamar (Dishonored
Lady/Strange Woman), Joel McCrea (Bird
of Paradise/Most Dangerous Game), Susan Hayward (Smash-Up/Tulsa)
and Vincent Price (House on Haunted Hill/Last
Man on Earth).
We've kicked off THREE more
today to go along with the three from yesterday. These new contests give
each of you a chance to win copies of Warner's
Presley: The Signature Collection,
The Movie Collection and the
Special Edition. Like the others, these contests will run
until Noon PDT on Sunday, August 22nd.
Don't forget to check out our
of the Month, Darla Farner,
and her website Watercolor
in Motion. Also, this is the one year anniversary of the
artist program, so please be sure to drop
Sarah a note to let her
know if you have been enjoying it, or to provide whatever comments you
(LATE UPDATE - 8/16/04
- 9:15 AM PDT)
We've got some new DVD announcements for you today from Columbia
TriStar. Look for the studio to release dual R-rated and Unrated
versions of White Chicks on 10/26,
along with Frankenfish, Happy
Birthday to Me, The Harvest
and The China Syndrome: Special Edition.
Also coming on 10/26 from the studio are a batch of new SuperBit titles,
including Bad Boys II, Cliffhanger,
Once Upon a Time in Mexico, S.W.A.T.,
The Guns of Navarone, The
Missing and Underworld
(121 minute version).
We also wanted to let you know that the studio is preparing a major
Godzilla onslaught on 10/19. There
will be a 3-disc Godzilla Collector's Box Set,
to include Godzilla vs. Gigan,
Godzilla vs. Hedorah and the
Roland Emmerich version of Godzilla.
Then there's a 5-disc Godzilla Collector's
Box Set, to include Godzilla vs.
Gigan, Godzilla vs. Hedorah,
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974),
Godzilla 2000 and Emmerich's Godzilla.
There's also a 7-disc Godzilla Collector's
Edition Box Set that will include Godzilla
2000, Emmerich's Godzilla,
Godzilla vs. Megagrus, Godzilla,
Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla
vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla vs. Space
Godzilla, Godzilla vs. King
Ghidorah, Godzilla and Mothra: The
Battle for Earth and Godzilla
Against Mechagodzilla (2002). Just FYI, Godzilla
vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Hedorah
and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
(1974) will also be released separately on 10/19 (DVD aspect ratio
unknown). Got that? Whew...
Also this morning, we've kicked off a pair of new
today, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Universal's
Express, as well as Shout! Factory's
and You Bet
Your Life: The Best Episodes. Plus, the Sideshow
bust contest is still going from last week. All three of these
contests will run until Noon PDT on Sunday, August 22nd. Good luck!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/16/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
Well... here it comes, folks. Despite warnings by both consumer
advocates and the Hollywood studios, the consumer electronics industry
is proceeding at reckless, break-neck pace to launch dual, competing
next-generation disc formats. Toshiba and NEC
just announced plans to launch HD-DVD hardware in the U.S. and
Japan in early 2005. They're obviously hoping to get the jump on Sony
and Phillips' Blu-ray Disc format, which has been expected to arrive in
the States by the end of 2005. All this comes just as the Blu-ray Group
announced that Version 1.0 of its read-only Blu-ray Disc (BD-ROM)
spec has been finalized.
Kids... take it from your Uncle Bill: This is gonna get really ugly
before it gets better.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/13/04 - 3 PM PDT)
One last update for today... we've just posted the second part of
Release Roundup. This time, Todd reviews a few of the titles
that arrived in stores THIS week, including Miramax's
Bill, Volume 2, Warner's
Lost Boys: Special Edition, Lions Gate's
Season One and Home Vision's
Plus he runs down the rest of this week's major releases as well.
Back with more on Monday. Have a great weekend!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/13/04 - 1:30 PM PDT)
Here's something you Kubrick fans are going to enjoy... Columbia
TriStar is currently preparing a 2-disc Dr.
Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Special Edition for release on
11/2. We have no details yet on extras, but expect the title to be
announced soon. Maybe we'll finally get to see that "cream pie
fight in the War Room" deleted scene.
By the way, we know that Warner Bros is quietly working on a 2-disc
2001: A Space Odyssey - Special Edition
for release at some point in the future. Consider that Rumor
Mill-worthy, but it's more good news for Kubrick fans.
We promised you more details on Warner's 4-disc Looney
Tunes: Golden Collection, Volume 2 (11/2 - $64.92). Here they
are, courtesy of animation historian Jerry Beck's
Research website. Look for audio commentary on 31 of the 60
classic shorts that will be included on the set (check the link for the
complete list of commentaries). Other extras will include 6 featurettes
(including A Conversation with Tex Avery,
Looney Tunes Go Hollywood, Crash!
Bang! Boom! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown, The
Man from Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clampett, It
Hopped One Night: A look at "One Froggy Evening",
and Wagnarian Wabbit: The Making of "Whats
Opera Doc?"), additional isolated music/music &
effects tracks on 15 shorts, 5 additional bonus shorts (including the
restored Adventures of the Road Runner
(pilot), Orange Blossoms for Violet,
So Much for So Little, the Bugs
Bunny Road Runner Show opening titles, another set of Bugs
Bunny Show bridging sequences) and more features that are
still TBA. There are rumored lists of the 60 shorts to be included on
the set floating around (including
one at TVShowsonDVD.com), but we're going to try to
confirm with Warner. All in all, not a bad way to spend Election Day
here in the U.S. - go vote, pick up your Golden
Collection on the way home and spend the rest of the day
watching classic toons (or should we say Tunes)!
We've got a little more new cover art for you this morning -
Universal's final art for Quantum Leap: The
Complete Second Season (10/26) and B&W temp art for both
versions of their The Chronicles of Riddick
(11/16 - we'll replace them with final color art as soon as it's
Back with Todd's column in a little while. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/13/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, campers. Matt and I just got back from a Midnight screening of
20th Century Fox's Alien vs. Predator,
which opens today. Ugh.
You know, AVP is mildly
entertaining in a sort of B-movie kind of way, but die-hard fans of
either the Alien or Predator
franchises are going to be left seriously wanting. There's not a lick of
intelligence or sophistication in this film whatsoever, and the whole
thing is barely 100 minutes long. It's a total exercise in style over
substance. The entire concept, as you might guess from the title, is
just the setup for a series of Matrix-esque
fight scenes. Yes, that's right... CGI aliens, Klingon-style Predators
and bullet time wire-fu. There's one good line and a couple cool
moments, but by and large, AVP is
terribly written, poorly directed and acted, and (like Alien³
and Alien: Resurrection before it)
features seriously mediocre creature effects. Why is it that in 1979 and
1986 they were able to show us creatures that looked and felt like REAL
and dangerous organisms, and in 2004 we get creatures that look like
videogame cannon fodder? Very, very, very disappointing.
Anyway, we'll be back with more DVD news later this morning, so be sure
to check back then.
Oh... and Matt? My Vikings are going to tear your Bears up this season.
Best to just get used to the idea now, dude. ;-)